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Leigh Wood dethrones Mauricio Lara to regain WBA featherweight title

Wood gains redemption with win over Lara in rematch
© Reuters
Leigh Wood regains the WBA featherweight title by coasting to a brilliant points win over Mauricio Lara in Manchester.

Leigh Wood has regained the WBA featherweight title that he lost in February by cruising to a points win over Mauricio Lara.

The Nottingham fighter was brutally knocked out by the Mexican earlier in the year, and many questioned the decision to take an immediate rematch just over three months later.

However, a day after Lara relinquished his world crown due to issues with the weight, Wood boxed the smartest fight of his career to prevail by unanimous decision.

The fear was that Lara, who did not have to make the full weight cut due to failing to make the necessary check-weight on Wednesday, would use that advantage to steamroller his vulnerable opponent.

Instead, Lara hit the deck as early as the second round, Wood landing with an uppercut that was quickly followed by a left hook.

Although Lara did not necessarily look hurt, the expected response did not materialise, Wood never under any persistent pressure like he was in the first fight.

While that had the potential to perplex Wood and his team, they stuck to the gameplan, aware that only a lapse in concentration would cost them the redemption that they craved and deserved.

Once the final bell rang, Wood being announced as the winner was a formality, the judges scoring it 118-109, 116-111 and 118-109 respectively.

A fight with Josh Warrington may now be on the agenda, but a unification with Luis Alberto Lopez is also a possibility after he brutally stopped Michael Conlan in five rounds to defend the IBF belt.

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Mauricio Lara knocking out Leigh Wood to win the WBA featherweight title on February 18, 2023.
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